Early two-stage double opposing Z-plasty or one-stage push-back palatoplasty?: comparisons in maxillary development and speech outcome at 4 years of age.Ann Plast Surg. 2011 Feb; 66(2):148-53.AP
Determining the optimal timing and procedure of palatal surgery for children with cleft lip and palate has long raised a major controversy. An early two-stage palatoplasty protocol has been a recent trend in an attempt to obtain preferable maxillary growth without compromising adequate speech development. In this study, we aim to address whether the resulting maxillofacial growth and speech development obtained by an early 2-stage palatoplasty protocol are better than those obtained by conventional 1-stage push-back palatoplasty. Seventy-two nonsyndromic children with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate were enrolled in this study. They were divided into 2 groups: 30 children, who were treated with early 2-stage palatoplasty, in which soft palate closure was performed using a modified Furlow's procedure at 12 months of age and hard palate closure was performed at 18 months of age (Early Tow Stage [ETS] group: 22 boys, 8 girls), and 42 children, who underwent 1-stage Wardill-Kilner push-back palatoplasty at 12 months of age (Push Back [PB] group: 31 boys, 11 girls). Cephalometric analysis for maxillofacial growth and assessments of speech development were performed for each child at 4 years of age. The ETS group showed a lager maxillary length than the PB group [anterior nasal spine (ANS)-ptm': ETS, 46.7 ± 2.0 mm; PB, 43.6 ± 2.3 mm]. The ANS in the ETS group was positioned more anteriorly than that in the PB group (N'-ANS: ETS, 2.5 ± 1.8 mm; PB, 0.26 ± 2.5 mm), whereas the posterior edge of the maxilla positioned anteroposteiorly was comparable between the 2 groups. The anterior facial height was significantly greater in the ETS group than in the PB group (N-N': ETS, 43.3 ± 2.9 mm; PB, 40.1 ± 2.3 mm, S-S': ETS, 29.7 ± 3.2 mm; PB, 31.0 ± 3.2 mm). No statistically significant differences were observed in the incidence of either velopharyngeal incompetence or articulation errors between the 2 groups at 4 years of age. Our results show that the early 2-stage protocol is advantageous with regard to maxillary growth compared with 1-stage push-back palatoplasty without compromising speech development as evaluated for all children at 4 years of age.